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Measured progress: Fewer babies die from tetanus

Fewer babies are dying from neonatal tetanus thanks to Kiwanis International, UNICEF and its partners.

One baby now dies every 11 minutes from neonatal tetanus—a 15 percent drop from 2010 to 2013. Approximately 9,000 fewer babies die each year—25 fewer each day—from neonatal tetanus according to a new report published by the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group.

“It is not a coincidence that the drop occurs during the exact same timeframe Kiwanis assumed a leadership role in helping to close a funding gap that was preventing our ability to immunize mothers against this deadly disease,” says Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

“Seeing this measured progress is indeed an exciting and proud moment for the Kiwanis family,” says Randy DeLay, Campaign Chairman for The Eliminate Project.

Fewer neonatal tetanus deaths can be credited to the joint efforts of those who support the MNT elimination program. Kiwanis, through The Eliminate Project, helps fund UNICEF’s immunization campaigns and outreach to women of reproductive age.

“Seeing this reduction is gratifying, but the fact that 49,000 newborns are dying each year is unacceptable. We are grateful for partners like that Kiwanis that put children first among their priorities,” adds Stern. “We will keep working until the day that no mom has to worry about losing her baby to tetanus.”

The Kiwanis family is a catalyst to reduce infant mortality, but we are not done. Approximately 134 newborns still die every day from tetanus. Millions of women and babies in 24 countries still need our support. 

“Although we have much to celebrate, we must not rest on our successes,” adds DeLay. “Our wonderful partners at UNICEF continue to carry out immunization activities. The faster they receive our contributions, the faster those urgently-needed funds can be used.”

Now is the time to take action. Empower your club. Give today. Help the Kiwanis family put tetanus where it belongs: in medical history books.

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